Friday, 15 July 2016

Dennis Cooper: Erasure

Two weeks ago, writer and artist Dennis Cooper was checking his Gmail when something peculiar happened: the page was refreshed and he was notified that his account had been deactivated – along with the blog that he’d maintained for 14 years.

Cooper’s DC’s Blog had been a prime destination for fans of experimental literature and avant garde writing. The author of such acclaimed and transgressive novels as Frisk and Closer would showcase the work of other writers, while the blog also hosted his recent novels which use gifs instead of text.

An American now based in Paris, Cooper made several complaints on Google’s forums and subsequently enlisted a lawyer to approach the California-based company.

“He talked multiple times to Google’s lawyer and they’ve basically stonewalled us,” Cooper told the Guardian. “I can’t even get a response from them or anything. I have no idea why they did it or what’s going on.”

The suspension of Cooper’s blog has been labeled as censorship by some in the art world and raised concerns about Google’s power to eliminate alternative voices.

Stuart Comer, a curator at MoMA and a longtime fan of Cooper’s work, said this is effectively a return to the culture wars of the 80s and 90s.

“I think this is definitely censorship. The problem is nobody knows what the specific issue is and certainly Dennis has posted images that one might find troubling,” Comer said. “It’s just yet another means by which certain members of the government or certain internet conglomerates have decided to make it impossible for culture to be produced.” ...

Guardian online.

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